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 Post subject: anxious
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:25 pm 
We ahev our appeal on friday and i'm feeling less and less confident as the day draws nera.
My daughter got 2 117s and 3:1(my main concern).
Although her year 5 teachers have written letters of support the more i read them the more i feel that they are character statements and not statements of ability. This is very nice but i have come to realise that the panel are not iterested in attitude (strange but true). We were told that the OS was partly decided on the work in year 6 so far. This is where our problems begin.
Our daughter broke her arm and required surgery 2 weeks before the test (as i'm sure some of you know!). She missed a lot of school and although she went in for familiarisation she really wasn't in the right frame of mind which i think put her at a significant disadvantage.
We were asked 2 days before the test if we wanted to defer for 6 weeks, my husband was away so really we only had the day before the test to decide. Our daughter was desperate to do it with everyone else and said that this really helped knowing that they were all in the same boat. Also at that stage we were still unsure as to whether further surgery would be required. She could have been worse off in 6 weeks after which time school allocation becomes an issue. So we had to make a dreadful judgement call. Did we do the right thing? We ask ourselves every night as our heads hit the pillow.
The school has a new to the system head and we feel really let down by them. She has 2 good VR scores either side of her accident but i've come to realise that these aren't really that much use either.
We have medical evidence from the hospital and GP but these really just state facts and confirm what happened they don't and can't say how this would effect perfomance because that is very individual thing.
Sorry that this so long but i'm feeling rather weak and talking helps! Thanks for listening.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:51 pm 
Be strong - the Head was new to the system - so how good were the predictions and the order of suitability?

I think you need to say, as you have done here, that the familiarisation was affected by the broken arm. Delay was not a predictable choice as further surgery may have been needed - she might have missed the time slot for getting in the main allocation.

Foucus on academic - two good VR scores - predicted KS2 NC tests - have you got good KS1 levels to quote as well?

 Post subject: still anxious
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:58 pm 
Ks1 = 3s
Ks2 = 5,5,4
25 out of 62 passed some predicted some suprises.
My main concern is that we'll be penalised for not defering and the school are semmingly not that supportive. She is the only appealent that both year 5 and year 6 teachers have written for but as i have said will they be that bothered that they think she is hard working and would benefit a grammar school environment?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 116
Dear njg
I am in the same boat too regarding our appeal, so you are not alone. My son was sick 3 days before the exam with what we thought was gastroenteritis, but may now have been a grumbling appendix as he has now had them out, but he too sat the tests and I think we may get questioned as to why didnt we defer, but like you, he wanted to sit them with his friends in a familiar environment, and also the alternate date to sit would have been the day after he returned from a school 1 weeks trip away to the Isle of Wight. We had a tough call to make too and didnt know what to do and in the end relented and let himn return to sit the tests. Our appeal is tomorrow at 11.45 so I will let you know whether I get questioned and frowned apon for allowing him to go in.
Wish us luck and watch this space, probably my last bit of writng till I get our letter in wednesdays post!!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:04 pm 
Dear DM
Much luck for tomorrow - will be thinking of you.

Would very much appreciate any advice from Etienne or Sally-Anne and of course anyone else!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:44 pm 
Concentrate first on the academic evidence - then just explain as you have done why you made the decision you did.

Hindsight is always 100% - you did not know your child would not need another operation and therefore be even more at a disadvantage - It was a 'no win' situation which, hopefully, the panel will appreciate.

Any books with 'post-its' would be good and quote anything academinc and positive from teachers'/Head's comments - not 'so-and-so works hard but comments on quaility and standard of work.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8766
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi njg

I agree that the 3:1 ranking is probably the major issue, along with two identical scores at the lower end of the range. Don't despair though!

Sit back and look at everything you have, especially those teacher statements. You have probably "read them to death" by now - perhaps enlist a trusted friend to re-read them with you. Take all the most positive statements from them and highlight those when talking to the panel.

Then look at the school books - again with a friend if it helps. A fresh pair of eyes can do wonders at this stage. Flag up with post-it notes the very best pieces of work. Decide if there are one or two that you can refer to in your appeal, so the panel really are forced to go looking for them at the end.

On the broken arm, you were "caught between a rock and a hard place". Go with the original date, when your daughter was moderately fit, although would have given a slower performance because of the temporary disability? Or wait six weeks, but with no certainty that the arm wouldn't have been an even greater hindrance or perhaps a bar to taking the exam at all? Your daughter's enthusiasm tipped the balance. BUT neither solution was ideal, and will have contributed to her lower marks.

On the ranking, the Head is new. His/her rankings produced some random results. Draw that to the panel's attention, but do not dwell on it! Also highlight that the OS was drawn up on Year 6 work, which in your daughter's case was a mere 3 weeks or so before she broke her arm. hardly a reliable "guide to future performance"!

Make sure that you highlight phrases from the medical reports, and make sure that the panel actually find that part of your evidence before you continue talking.

It's all about drawing their attention to the strong points in your case, and making them sink in aurally and also visually if possible.

Lastly, prepare (if you haven't already) or revisit the summary notes of your "speech" to the panel that you will give to the Clerk. They don't just earn you brownie points, they are a useful record of what you have said, and the panel can ask the Clerk to refer back to them if needed during their deliberations.

Finally, on your own or with the trusted friend, do a Waffle & Whinge Check! (A new invention of mine, to add to the post-it notes!)

Decide frankly where you are over-doing the mitigating circumstances ("the cold had such a dreadful effect on her attitude to school over several weeks"), where you are overdoing any extraneous points ("such a helpful girl, always holds doors open for younger children") - you know the sort of thing by now. Even the strongest case has a few of those, but they can really ruin a good case. Less is usually more.

Good luck

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